Stefano Pelinga hails from Rome, Italy, where he served as a police officer for the Italian government from 1985 until his retirement in 2011. He began to play pool at the age of 12 in an effort to emulate his favorite singer and actor, Dean Martin, and he was later inspired by Dino to learn to speak English. Stefano's playing style was strongly influenced by such legendary players as Paul Gerni, Mike Massey and Yoshikazu Kimura, whose esteem and friendship Stefano unexpectedly gained 20 years later.
In 1980, the first pool tables became commonly available in Italy, so Stefano switched from playing the traditional Italian games to playing pool with emphasis on the 14.1 continuous game. In the late 80s, Stefano made his highest run of 179 balls and could not find any competition at his level. This was one of the reasons why, in 1990, Stefano began to devote himself entirely to "Artistic Pool," commonly referred to in its practice as "Trick Shots." Since then, he has participated in numerous international competitions, getting to the medal podium just about every single time.
After collecting a few too many second place finishes, Stefano finally broke the “curse,” winning the 2003 US Open of Artistic Pool in New Bedford, Massachusetts, followed by another major title, the EPBF European Artistic Pool Championship held in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 2004.
On November 17, 2012, in the presence of approximately 500 VIP guests and many sports stars such as Tommy Lasorda, Mike Piazza, Tony Esposito and Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini, Stefano was inducted into the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame (NIASHF). Also inducted that evening were former World Boxing Middleweight Champion Vito Antuofermo, World Series Champion John Smoltz, NHL Stanley Cup champion Mark Recchi, Olympic Medalist Alicia Sacramone, among others. The NIASHF includes such legendary Italian Americans as Willie Mosconi, Joe DiMaggio, Mario Andretti, Vince Lombardi, Rocky Marciano, and Jake LaMotta.
Widely referred to as “Mr. Trick Shots,” Stefano has given cue sports considerable international exposure by travelling worldwide (over 2 million miles to-date) performing exhibitions, organizing competitions and raising funds for a variety of charitable organizations with his personal appearances.
Additionally, Stefano has contributed to the promotion and development of pool through the production of various instructional DVDs:
• The Magic of Trick Shots, 1999
• Ultimate Trick Shots, Volumes I and II, 2005
• Amazing Trick Shots Made Easy, 2007
• More Amazing Trick Shots Made Easy, 2007
• Even More Amazing Trick Shots Made Easy, 2007
Stefano’s unmatchable skills, foremost career and charismatic style have earned him tens of thousands of loyal fans all over the world.
In the words of Stefano Pelinga… Grazie!